All those subjective ratings are just for those editors who wanted to see which car wins, take a look at C&D's revamped rating system.
In the May issue of Road & Track, on page 82, Living Large is a comparison article pitting the A8L 4.2 vs. the BMW 745Li, Jaguar XJ8L, Mercedes-Benz S500 and Volkswagen Phaeton V8. Certainly the leader in aesthetic design and back seat comfort according to the R&T editors, the A8L really only seemed to fall short on the BMW (which ultimately won the test) on driver dynamics. Surprisingly though considering the BMW's win, all but one of the testers chose the A8L as their pic as which car they'd take.
So what surprises were there in the comparison? Testers thought the Phaeton might be more taught in the corners, and their slalom course had it best the Audi by an extremely small margin.
Weight is also interesting. The also aluminum but lighter RWD Jaguar is a featherweight 3770 lbs.. Put three big guys in a Subaru WRX STi and it's likely to weigh more than the Jag. Contrarily, the Audi is at 4400lbs., heavier than the non-4Matic but steel S-class which is 220lbs. lighter.
It's an interesting article nonetheless, and given the margin of subjectivity, you have to wonder if the A8L didn't really win the test. Driving dynamics are great for most auto enthusiasts, but for these car's markets, is it really that important to bump the Bimmer ahead?